The end is near for Alex Rodriguez, even if he’s not ready to completely walk away from baseball.
by Mark Townsend
(Yahoo Sports) – In a Sunday morning press conference at Yankee Stadium, A-Rod and the Yankees jointly announced he will play one final game for New York on Friday, at home, against the Tampa Bay Rays. Following the game, Rodriguez will officially be released and will then immediately transition into a new role with the team as a special instructor and advisor.
The news comes just days after Rodriguez stated that he’d be “at peace” if the Yankees decided to release him during the season. With his playing time significantly diminished since the All-Star break — he’d only started one game since July 22 — the writing was clearly on the wall and he had taken notice.
According to Fox sports Ken Rosenthal, who spoke exclusively to A-Rod, the Yankees did approach him about a release this week, which morphed into planning his farewell appearance on Friday.
What’s interesting is that Rodriguez, who spoke before the gathered media and his current Yankees teammates, whose attendance was reportedly mandatory, said he hasn’t completely closed the door on playing for another team down the road. General manager Brian Cashman added that A-Rod would be free to do so as of Friday night.
Assuming he doesn’t sign elsewhere, his new role with the Yankees will run through Dec. 31, 2017, effectively serving out his Yankees contract.
Call it forcing A-Rod’s hand or call it a gift on his way out the door. Both are probably true in some way, as being released will allow Rodriguez to collect the roughly 5.8M still owed to him this season and the $21M owed to him next season.